A few days ago, news broke about the latest investment from the Creandum III fund, a very exciting investment in Omniata being the first Creandum investment in a US-based company.
Given that the Creandum focus primarily is the extended Nordic region, there need to be very good reasons for investing outside the “home base” and with data analytics provider Omniata there are many such reasons.
First of all, we have built the relationship for a long time. The first time we met Alex, CEO and co-founder of Omniata, was when he resigned from his then current role as Director of Product Management, and Data & Analytics platform at Electronic Arts. Since then Creandum met Alex both in San Francisco and Stockholm several times during the following 18 months and could see the massive vision of the company being created in the form of a next-generation analytics platform. Alex and the team further impressed us with signing up many leading digital businesses and process billions of events per month, all while still in closed beta.
Secondly, Omniata has strong connections to the Nordic region. Many of Omniata’s early customers are based in the Nordics and the company started building an operations team in Helsinki to support its European client base already after 6 months of existence. As the company already had a strong Silicon Valley-based investor, Sigma West, on board from the seed round, it was natural for Omniata to look for an investor with a strong presence in primarily Northern Europe as well as relevant connections in the US, which is where the Creandum funds fitted into the picture.
As for why Creandum is excited about Omniata as an investment, there are also several reasons:
1. Strong need for data driven decision-making: Creandum is strong believers in being data driven and sees increasingly that the needs of digital business are becoming more advanced in terms of understanding KPIs and metrics. The Omniata team has a background from the game industry and in many ways game companies are the most advanced users of data in order to profitably run their games as services. What we have noticed in the investment portfolio and with many startups that we meet is that also other digital services are following in the steps of the advanced game companies and have needs that up until now, no commercial solution has been able to meet. This has been manifested in Omniata’s early customer list, with several of the world’s most successful digital service providers as early customers already in the closed beta phase.
2. Impressive team: The team is often the factor that is most important for evaluating startups and the Omniata team shares many of the characteristics that Creandum look for. It is a well-rounded team of experienced people that have worked together with similar aspects previously and understand the needs of digital businesses in and out. They have shown great execution both in terms of product vision and development, and customer on-boarding. They have a combination of people with very strong technical expertise and product vision.
3. The market is massive: IDC estimates the Business Analytics Software market to $35 billion in 2012 growing fast especially within in mobile analytics. There are already many billion-dollar companies created in the space and Creandum thinks there will be opportunities to build new ones given the rapid change in terms of customers’ needs.
For more information, go check out the Omniata web site at www.omniata.com – they are still in closed beta but will be targeting general availability later on this year.
Daniel brings solid start-up experience from the software and telecom industry. Prior to joining Creandum, Daniel was Vice President Marketing at Ascade and was part of developing the company from a small consultancy firm to an international software company. He has also worked for Volvo IT in Great Britain and Gulf Agency Company in Dubai.